Visiting Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden & Giveaway ends 7-26!

Photo: Michael Farah.
Photo: Michael Farah.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is visit all the beautiful butterflies to be seen at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. While I was lucky to see them last year with my IFWTWA Family, this year I was invited back to see more sights and eat great food in this adorable college city in the Inland Empire. This time, with Michael in tow!

We spent an absolutely fabulous weekend in Claremont, and in the coming weeks I will be sharing more about our adventures with you. For the first story, I want to introduce you to Butterfly Bill and his Butterfly Pavilion that opens up every May at the gardens.

Mike and I were fascinated at the different types of trees at the gardens. The bark on this one especially caught our eyes. Photo: Michael Farah.
Mike and I were fascinated at the different types of trees at the gardens. The bark on this one especially caught our eyes.
Photo: Michael Farah.
Kids get a kick out of this grass hut.
Kids get a kick out of this grass hut.

“Butterfly Bill” is none other than Bill Gendron. Gendron is a retired engineer who dived back into his passions for entomology when he was 50. His main jam? Studying and collecting butterflies. For just $3 admission (in addition to your admission into this nearly 800 acre garden), you can enter his world of butterflies and even see caterpillars right on the verge of earning their wings.

While I have visited similar pavilions before, Rancho Santa Ana’s is easily my favorite. While many zoo’s and exhibits give you the chance to get up close and personal with species, no one is usually around to tell you more about what you are ooh-ing and ahh-ing at. Bill is right there to greet you and take you into the pavillion. As butterflies are literally fluttering all around (and maybe even on!) you, Bill is there to explain to who is who, where they start at, their mating tendencies and what makes them unique.

Photo: Michael Farah.
Photo: Michael Farah.
Photo: Michael Farah.
Photo: Michael Farah.

Along with the dozens of butterflies to see, many of Bill’s framed ones are on site to see and learn from, too. He is at the ready and eager to teach you all about these unique, gorgeous creatures.

Rancho Santa Ana also hosts countless classes and field trips all year through, too, and you can even rent out several parts of the gardens for your own event. Get all the info HERE.

Michael made a friend!
Michael made a friend!

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While Rancho Santa Ana is open year round, the butterflies will be released on August 7th, and the pavilion will close up shop until next  May. I highly recommend visiting this Summer to see The Butterfly Pavilion. Like I mentioned: This is the Inland Empire. So, it’s very warm! Definitely dress appropriately, wear a hat, slather on the SPF and don’t be like Mike and me and run out of water. (There are water fountains and a gift shop to re-hydrate, though).

I have a pair of tickets, as well as admission to The Butterfly Pavilion, to give away! Simply enter using the form below by July  26th, and make sure to read over my Sweepstakes Rules under the tab above! Good luck! 🙂 xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 Comments

  1. Jen

    July 20, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I’ve never been to Rancho Santa Ana but it sounds gorgeous! And I love butterflies!

    1. AlongComesMary

      July 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

      OMG you would love it, Jen! 🙂 Not too far from you, either.

  2. Ann

    July 20, 2016 at 10:35 am

    This sounds like fun! I’m going to put it on my bucket list of places to go!

  3. Leeann @ Join the Gossip

    July 20, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I live next door to Claremont and had no idea this gem existed! I have to visit now 🙂

  4. sonia stech

    July 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Never been didnt even know it was so close to my home.

    1. AlongComesMary

      July 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Its really a best kept secret!

  5. Amanda Marcus

    July 21, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I have not visited the Santa Ana Botanic Garden. I would love to go there. I love butterfly’s and nature!

    1. AlongComesMary

      July 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Good luck, Amanda!

  6. Rosa cuevas

    July 22, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Iv never been but i bet the garden is beautiful. Id love to take a relaxing trip out there.

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